Rising public and private sector salaries and the rebuild[ing] of a more resilient infrastructure are some of the many things Virgin Islanders have to celebrate this Labor Day, Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp said Friday.
“More people are now earning a living wage, and we’re poised to dramatically improve the quality of life here in the Virgin Islands as we design and prepare to build new and improved roads, schools, ports and health care facilities,” Mapp said.
On Thursday, nearly 800 more government workers took home a bigger paycheck and about 1,200 more will see salary increases later this month as a result of the governor’s recent executive orders to increase the minimum wage for public sector workers to $13 per hour and for the base salaries of teachers, social workers and other vital government workers to be significantly increased to retain and recruit a robust workforce.
Approximately 1,200 more executive branch employees will see raises reflected in their September paychecks. The Division of Personnel is processing Notifications of Personnel Action (NOPAs) documents daily, and all affected employees will receive wage increases retroactive to Aug. 1.
Private sector salaries are also on the rise. Mapp approved the legislation that incrementally increased hourly pay from $7.25 to $10.50 as of June 1.
“These salary hikes represent a victory for the hardworking women and men of this territory,” the governor said. “Wages remained stagnant for far too long. Lt. Gov. Potter and I promised to increase salaries and we continue to deliver.”
In 2016, Mapp granted more than 3,000 public employees raises, averaging about $5,000 each per annum. Many of these workers had not seen a salary increase in over a decade.
The Mapp-Potter Administration also remains committed to creating new opportunities for all Virgin Islanders through economic development initiatives. In addition to hurricane recovery efforts, significant opportunities are now coming online to include the oil refinery reopening and the racetrack rehabilitation projects.
Gov. Mapp wished the people of the Virgin Islands a most enjoyable Labor Day weekend.
“As we continue to battle for the hardworking people of this territory, I hope you will find the opportunity this holiday weekend to relax and enjoy time with family and friends,” he said.